A 22-year-old man stabbed and killed the deputy director of a primary school in the Slovak town of Vrútky. Police shot and killed the attacker, who was allegedly a former student at the school, after he refused to surrender and give up his knife.
Six other people were injured during the attack, including two children. All the injured were conscious and in a stable condition at the time of their transfer to the hospital. Two police officers were also injured during the operation when they were hit with ricocheted bullets.
According to Police President Milan Lučanský, the attacker first broke down the school door and entered the school premises. The deputy director was murdered while trying to stop him and protect other teachers and children.
“He then ran to the nearest class where he attacked a teacher and two children. Following this crime, he tried to escape from the crime scene,” the police president said.
The first police reports suggest that the attacker attended the school in the past and may have been bullied. His friends described him as a lonely and aggressive person, but this alleged motive will be subject to further investigation. The man was also believed to have issues with mental illness.
“I feel great sadness and grief over the tragedy in Vrútky. I express my sincere condolences to the family of the victim of the attack and support for all injured children, teachers, and police officers,” said Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová about the tragedy.
According to the chairman of the Slovak parliament, Boris Kollár, the police should determine whether the attack could have been prevented.
“This is the first time that this has happened in Slovakia. We need to learn from this case. Police must investigate the causes thoroughly so that we can prevent it from repeating in the future,” said Kollár.
Prime Minister Igor Matovič learned of the tragic news at a Visegrad Group meeting in South Moravia and expressed regrets to journalists over the attack.
“I express my sincere condolences to all the bereaved. Unfortunately, madmen live among us, and we cannot prevent such situations,” said Matovič.
Matovič described the victim who lost his life as a hero and wants to award him with a state award in memoriam.
On Thursday afternoon, people began gathering to place lit candles next to the teacher’s photo in front of the school. Hundreds of people honored his memory on the spot.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced on Twitter that he had expressed his condolences to Matovič along with his colleagues from Poland and Hungary.
Title image: Police officers secure the area after of a shooting at the primary and secondary school in Vrutky, Slovakia, Thursday, June 11, 2020. (Erika Durcova/TASR via AP)